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Sweden world's most respected country: study

Vivian Tse · 8 Oct 2010, 15:04

Published: 08 Oct 2010 15:04 GMT+02:00

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"People think that Sweden has a lot of things going for it: natural beauty, the business environment, effective government and the social welfare system. Its reputation speaks for itself, so it scores highly physical beauty, lifestyle and social welfare," Robert Gelmanovsky, CEO of the Nordic Brand Academy, the Swedish arm of the Reputation Institute, told The Local.

"Sweden does a lot of things right, as well as having a beautiful landscape. It is important to people. We can only speculate that we like beautiful surroundings and nature," he added.

The CountryRep 2010 study measures the overall respect, trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public in G8 countries hold toward 39 countries outside of their home country.

Iran was the least respected country in the ranking.

"A strong country reputation builds stakeholder support, making Sweden a country people will recommend as a place to visit, invest, live and work," Nicolas Trad, managing partner of Reputation Institute, said in a statement.

The Reputation Institute's research model indicates that reputation is built on 11 pillars from which a country can create a strategic platform for communicating with its stakeholders.

The 11 attributes were organized into three categories: effective government, advanced economy and appealing environment.

The study showed that public perception is most influenced by a country's lifestyle, global community involvement and physical beauty, which combined accounts for more than 30 percent of a country's reputation.

"A diverse image reduces reputation risk and provides a stronger platform for support," Kasper Nielsen, Reputation Institute managing partner, said in a statement.

Sweden came in the top five in 10 of 11 dimensions, taking the top spot for social welfare and contribution to the global community, while placing second in business environment and effective government.

The general public in the G8 - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and the US - was also asked its their perceptions of the most attractive countries to invest in. Switzerland topped the list, while Sweden placed in the top three.

The survey also evaluated how 35 of the countries rated themselves. In the self-image survey, Sweden ranked 12th, an indication that Swedes are not as comfortable demonstrating national pride in public.

"Generally, Swedes, when it comes to surveys and such, especially when talking to others, are very humble, but Swedes know this and are proud of their country. They are just not as comfortable talking about it. It might be part of the Swedish mental character to be a bit low-key and not boast too much about themselves," said Gelmanovsky.

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Findings from more than 40,000 interviews showed that Australia, Finland, and Canada gave their home countries the highest ratings when asked about their perceptions whether the country has a good reputation and whether they like, admire and respect and trust the country. Hungary rated itself the lowest.

Gelmanovsky suggested several tips to help Sweden remain at the top of the survey next year. He believes that Sweden needs to move away from common perceptions about Sweden's business environment, such as how the country is home to many large global corporations and is innovative, and emphasise its effective government with high political stability and a well functioning society.

"Most of these things are not new to how Sweden is portrayed. Maybe we could speak more about how good a business environment Sweden actually is instead of the the image out there that it is a high-tax country. This survey shows there is a lot to gain about talking about Sweden's business and government system, putting forth the effective government thing a bit more," he said.

He added that the government needs to look at the scores in effective government and social welfare, as well as its contributions to the global community. In addition, the findings were greatly affected by the current global financial climate given that Sweden is one of the countries least affected by the economic crisis in Europe.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:37 October 8, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
Yup. And Finland, according to one study made by a newspaper i remember no more, is the best country in the whole wide world.

Yes, we are all the best.

Let´s make it a race, shall we? Some clever sofware-engineer could figure out some sort of race-track and F-1 cars would go down the track their speed depending on the state of their economy/debt/pilot and so forth :)

The finish line would be moved by the creditors, closer or further.

Would be fun to watch.
15:37 October 8, 2010 by JulieLou40
Not surprised that Iran was last. Must have something to do with that nut job in charge.
15:45 October 8, 2010 by Jarvilainennen

Witch one do you mean? The one "in charge" or the one in charge?
15:53 October 8, 2010 by wiserthanmos
Wow, the Islamic Kingdom of Sweden really got it made, didn't they? Don't get me wrong, im happy for you, but really how long can you maintain this?
16:00 October 8, 2010 by Tanskalainen
Sweden would be a great place if it weren't for all the Routsalainen hanging around.
16:03 October 8, 2010 by Roy E
Such studies are nothing but highly subjective vacuity, good for an eye-roll, but not much else.
16:04 October 8, 2010 by asian369
@wisethanmos... Sweeden needs people like you , Lars Vilks and Jimme Åkesson to ENHANCE and maintain this respect.
16:25 October 8, 2010 by gorgepir
I am pretty sure Sweden is not "the most respected country" for people like Lars Vilks and Jimme Åkesson, and SD in total.

It probably has to do with the incredible amount of value the Swedes have for human dignity and human rights. And they try to represent what is humane to do, not what saves us the most money.
16:37 October 8, 2010 by Roy E

If Sweden truly did have an 'incredible amount of value for human dignity and human rights', they would import far fewer rapists, murderers, and thugs to prey upon the native population. Elin Kranz is not the first, not will she be the last innocent victim of mindless, delusional utopian policies.

No, the reality is that Sweden is a country in which perpetrators are treated with greater deference than the innocent victims. This is nothing to be proud of - nor anything worthy of respect.
16:47 October 8, 2010 by gorgepir
@Roy E

Cherry picking is quite easy you know. Notice I said Sweden has an "incredible amount of value for human dignity" not all Swedes. On the contrary I pointed out a few examples who I think do not value human dignity, do not believe in human rights (or only a selection of them) and are more concerned with "costs". And although this study is quite dubious (which is a completely valid point), it seems the rest of the world believes so too. It isn't a Utopia, but it is the most respected. You are free not believe otherwise, just that it seems the majority doesn't.

So your argument has no relevance to what I just said.
16:54 October 8, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
Roy E:

This must be a joint nordic phenomenon. If one protects ones´s own person in a fight a bit too vigorously, for example, one might face indictment and jail.

At least you can say bye bye to citicenship, in case you´re an immigrant. (not to mention what on earth should an immigrant do with citicenship anyway)

If one is willing to protect one´s own property or person, you will be treated as a criminal.

While we seek to be "humane" and un-violent to a point of being sitting ducks for intrnational crime, do we actually blame the immigrants of this, or who the hell do we blame anyway?

Just a question.
17:07 October 8, 2010 by mablog
I agree. Until you move here
17:28 October 8, 2010 by Jarvilainennen

In case this was pointed at me, let me tell you son, I did your sh*it-work for you. You know the kind of work you don´t want to do. The kind of work you still refuse to do.

I´m the guy you give the tool and gets it done.

Incase your comment was directed elswhere, don´t mind.
17:30 October 8, 2010 by glamelixir

spot on
18:25 October 8, 2010 by wotist

"Sweden would be a great place if it weren't for all the Routsalainen hanging around."

Paljon lunta mutta ei taskulamppua?
19:21 October 8, 2010 by Tanskalainen
Lots of snow and no flashlight? o.k. wotist what does that mean?
19:36 October 8, 2010 by skatty
I wonder how and by whom the Reputation institute is financed! Obviously not Iran!!!
20:44 October 8, 2010 by maxbrando
Polls by Swedes for Swedes. No one in the USA gives a rats ass about Sweden. It has never even helped its neighbors in time of real need. And the males are all sissies.
21:29 October 8, 2010 by Tanskalainen
wotist: My wife explained the expression to me, then I remembered hearing it before! I need a flashlight myself!
21:34 October 8, 2010 by Brucelee@stockholm.sweden
ok, so the world's most one is just like this, nothing special, poor planet.
23:31 October 8, 2010 by Toonie
The study concerns public perception, not first-hand knowledge of countries. Nuff said.
00:01 October 9, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Oh wonderful. Just what we need, Swedes walking around for the next how many ever months smugly citing a fact how much superior they are, citing a new index survey.
00:32 October 9, 2010 by Swedesmith
Not true maxbrando. I am an American who loves Sweden. And not all the males here are sissies. Just the ploliticians.
13:29 October 9, 2010 by Toffee_apple
"effective government and the social welfare system"...yeah the government is soooo effective, it listens to its people and gets a lot right. But hang on, why did the SD do so well in the last election?

And such effective welfare. Just come here, say you can't work and you can just sit on welfare without having to lift a finger. You can have all the kids you like and get extra dosh for that too. But if you do choose to work and become too ill to work while pregnant, don't expect any sick pay that your taxes contrinute to because pregnancy is not a disease. Obviously, laziness is though!!

Not much respect from me. Just as Toonie has accurately said, the study is about publice perception only. Living here is a different story.

Landscape is not bad. Not as nice as other countries such as Germany and the UK though.
14:39 October 9, 2010 by mikewhite
Let's not forget the "curse of award" where the winner of the award remains complacecent, learns nothing from experience and fails to challenge its internal problems, such as they are.

And let's also not forget this is external perception, so any issues keenly perceived by residents are not considered.

PS I thought Swedes were "ruotsalainen"
14:49 October 9, 2010 by Just_Kidding
again a Swedish survey ranked the Sweden the best. I hope they got the gut to publish their results in places like Germany, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada; as many organizations in these countries also believe that their countries are the best.

Basically these surveys are just tools in real state development companies to boost the housing prices. Swedish public will pay the bill.

I have lived in Canada, and I believe Sweden is better than Canada in many aspects, even though there is no Rockey mountains here.

Self obsessed Canadian's also call British Columbia the best place on earth and even print this on Driver's licenses.
15:25 October 9, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
Well. I know a lot you think you´re tough as hell and think you know a lot of stuff.

You think you know about HA, Bandidos and whoever.

There´s one guy who knows everythig. Someone so tough you can ask anythig of this guy and he´ll tell you how it is.

He is RANE.

Type on you tube: "vintiöt rane keravan kollit 2"

This guy is the toughest on earth.
15:49 October 9, 2010 by ghostwriter
Being a Swede myself, i must say that this sounds silly.

"Most respected country" - how do you even measure something like that?
19:11 October 9, 2010 by LuxVeritas
This is journalism? This is news? These are thought inspired comments (gnerally)? I'd like to have a word with the editor, then I laugh and wonder why I bothered beggining to commen......
22:46 October 9, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
You know, someone reading the Local told me he sh*its on my atheistic face :D

Someone else told me I use the lanuage of the whores.

I do use the language of the whores but I do not sh*it on anybodys´ face.

Go ahead and block me, religious face-shi*tter.
23:06 October 9, 2010 by Sam1

You make again think the same way toward you!! were you being sarcastic with you comment or serious.

If you were serious I hope you get deported from today itself to Thailand from where you have been adopted learn to be a man, and stop ass kissing.

One you learn to stop buttering asses and being servile..You can maybe change the world perspective towards you and your homeland...and maybe some of the Pervert Europians will think Oh this guys we cannot mess with and pervert their girls and children because They can stand for themselves now adays they stoped ass kissing...
12:42 October 10, 2010 by gwarbu2000
Anyone who has watched Wallender will know that you are a load of freaks.
13:08 October 10, 2010 by mikewhite
@gwarbu2000: speak for yourself, wouldn't you like to be arrested by one of those uniformed female police ?!
13:23 October 10, 2010 by N0DE
so true, Foul-mouthed iranians are hated everywhere in the world. Shameless people never realize this. They should be thrown back in iran,
13:57 October 10, 2010 by rambling75
One of Europes most Racist countries it now seems!

No wonder so many in Sweden colluded with Hitler and the Nazis.

Maybe they can ask their grandparents to let them try on their old Nazi uniforms!
14:19 October 10, 2010 by rafa1981
Another one that believes that the history happened exactly in the way that the allies wrote it, or what it´s the same, like a hollywood movie of heros and bad guys.

Talking about the new, in Spain we have also news talking good of ourselves, every country does it.
10:13 October 11, 2010 by Rebel
What teh heck do people know about Sweden anyway? How many Chinese know anything about Sweden except for that weird news story they were running a while back about a Swedish lesbian town in the forest? What do Americans know about Sweden except that they had cool Vikings and that they have a lot of porn with the name "Swedish" in the title? What do Greeks know of Sweden except they are easy to have sex with in the summer?
16:38 October 11, 2010 by Tanskalainen
At least Sweden has some of the world's best pussy! Here is the ranking: 1. Finland 2.Mexico 3.Sweden
11:38 October 12, 2010 by Hooman
Please let us remember that a distinction has to be made between "Iran" as a nation with all her historical and noble achievements and contributions to humanity and the current regime ruling over the country for over 30 years now.... I would never take Romania's situation under Ceauşescu as my criterium to judge your country. When a country's history spans through millenia, a mere 3 decades shouldn't be taken by the scholarly as proof to rule out her history in entirety. I expect my well-educated friend to give issues of interest more time and study before making blunt generalization on public pages.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_statehood#Historical_kingdoms_and_dynasties

And the first human rights resolution in history:

07:52 October 27, 2010 by sdmike
The Reputation Institute isn't Swedish, so this wasn't a "Swedish poll". I'm Swedish, but I'm not about to boast about this survey. But I'd be happy to kick maxbrando's and rambling75's collective asses. :)
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